Hymn and Her

The voice resonating through the parking lot was my wife’s. I heard her singing something in Spanish as my daughter and I arrived at Sacred Heart Cathedral. A new outdoor speaker plays the sound from the microphones inside. My wife was the cantor for Bishop Richard Stika’s 25th anniversary Mass. We got there in time to hear her do an outstanding job with the responsorial psalm and the alleluia. Over the past few years, she has been the cantor for several Masses with the bishop.

I wasn’t sure I would make it to the bilingual service at all, which is why I fulfilled my Sunday obligation at All Saints Church first thing that morning. Around noon, I impersonated Santa Claus at Holy Family Church in Seymour. I had to get home and wash the white dye out of my hair before I could do anything else. I wouldn’t do it, but it might have been funny to show up at Bishop Stika’s celebration in full Santa regalia. After all, the original St. Nicholas was a bishop in the Catholic church.

There were two bishops, one archbishop and one cardinal in attendance at the Mass. Bishop Stika was joined by Bishop David Choby of Nashville, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville and Justin Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia. Archbishop Kurtz was recently elected vice-president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Both Archbishop Kurtz and Bishop Stika were kind enough to mention that they occasionally read my blog.

After the Mass, Bishop Stika and Cardinal Rigali visited with the faithful at a very nice reception in the school gymnasium. The huge cake had layers of red velvet, white cake and Italian wedding cake. The bishop cut the cake and joked that it was sugar-free. He couldn’t have any because, like Wilford Brimley, he has the diabeetis.

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